A new law now on the books cracks down on illegal "straw" purchases of firearms in Pennsylvania.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed the "Brad Fox Law" during a ceremony Friday morning at the Harmonville Fire Co. in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery Co.
House Bill 898, introduced by Pa. Rep. Marcy Toepel, R-Montgomery Co., was passed in response to the deadly shooting of Plymouth Township officer Brad Fox while pursuing a suspect in a hit-and-run crash on Sept. 13.
"Officer Fox died in the line of duty last year at the hands of a felon who should never have had a gun and, less directly, by the hand of the man who later admitted buying the gun and passing it along," Corbett said. "Such ‘straw buyers’ are as deadly a threat to our citizens and our first responders as the felons to whom they pass along the weapon."
The new law permits a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for people repeatedly convicted of transferring guns to those not legally allowed to own them in Pennsylvania.
"Brad Fox was always accountable to his family, to his community, to his country," Corbett said."It is time we held others accountable in his name."
Fox, who died one day before his 35th birthday, had been with the police department for five years. He also served two tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Marines. Fox's wife, Lynsay, is expecting the couple's second child in March.
Also on hand for the ceremony were Fox's family, Pa. Sen. John Rafferty, R-Berks/Chester/Montgomery counties and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.